November 23rd 2014 saw the international premiere of the musical Das Wunder von Bern (‘The Miracle of Bern’) at the newly built Stage Theater an der Elbe – making it a fitting companion for the Theater im Hafen Hamburg, where the German version of The Lion King the musical has been playing since 2001. Audiences and critics have both given the new football-themed musical a warm welcome. Yet it isn’t just the plot, performers and musicians that have won them over – groundbreaking lighting technology developed by Philips has also played its part.
LED Replaces Halogen
Traditionally, theatres have used halogen spotlights in their auditoriums. In Hamburg’s new theatre, they have been replaced by LEDs. Just like halogen, the new LED technology doesn’t need to be warmed up – and it also allows dimming to be set to anywhere from zero to one hundred percent. It also consumes around eighty percent less energy.
And at the Theater an der Elbe, the innovations begin before the audience have even taken their seats. In collaboration with carpet makers Desso, Philips has created Luminous Carpets, which adorn the entrance to the theatre. These light-transmitting carpets are backed with LEDs which transform them into displays for special effects, signage, or other information.
In the theatre lobby, the Dutch artist Hugo Timmermans has transformed an entire wall – made using 500 programmable organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) from the Philips Brite FL300 range – into a work of art. The theatre has many faces by daylight, as the changing sunlight reflects off its stainless steel facade. With the OLEDs, it continues to show different sides of itself even after darkness falls.
The concept has proven a convincing one. Soon, the lighting system that debuted in the Theater an der Elbe is to be replicated at the home of The Lion King.
Picture sources: Stage Entertainment